renew one's emotions in daily experienceIs This Creating Conflict in Your Relationship?

If you made the commitment to practice last week’s exercise, I trust you’re beginning to truly understand the importance of getting in touch with your emotions. Nicely done!

If you haven’t yet practiced the exercise, I urge you to do so. Click here if you missed it, but be sure to come back…there’s more!

As you develop a relationship with your feelings, you’ll begin to see how it affects your relationships with others…such as the one with your romantic partner.

You might also become aware of a power struggle developing between your mind and your emotions. This is perfectly normal.

If you’re like most people, your mind is used to calling the shots and it won’t like that your feelings are now being given a voice. It will try hard to maintain its illusion of having control.

But when you’re able to cultivate a relationship of harmony between your mind and emotions, this sense of unity will provide the key to fulfillment in your relationships.

Consistency is a key factor in any relationship in which you’re establishing trust and stability, so regular practice of being mindful of your thoughts AND emotions is extremely important.

With that developed awareness, you can then adjust the way you think to better serve the emotional intelligence you want and need in order for your relationship to thrive.

For illustrative purposes, here’s a perfect example of how the internal power struggle between your mind and emotions affects the nature of your relationship. 

I have a friend who’s been in a romantic relationship for many years. Like all couples, they’ve gone through ups and downs, although in recent years the trajectory seems to be more down that up.

In believing that she should honor her spouse’s wishes and avoid rocking the boat, she often disregards her own feelings and ends up frustrated and upset.

Her mind tells her that she’s doing the ‘right thing’ and she’s being a ‘good wife’, but her feelings strongly indicate otherwise. And if she’s not honoring her feelings, it’s easy to see why her spouse doesn’t either.

I witness the on-going struggle this causes and can see that their connection is not as strong as it could or should be (forgive me for “shoulding”).

I think it’s safe to assume that most people who are in a romantic relationship want it to be a healthy one…a strong connection that fosters a sense of trust, safety and love.

But that can’t happen unless you first have a healthy relationship with yourself. Because your relationship with others is a reflection of your relationship with yourself! For example:

  • If you feel like your partner doesn’t listen, then you’re most likely not listening to a part of you that’s trying to be heard.
  • If you feel that your partner doesn’t make you a priority, then you’re probably not making yourself a priority either.
  • If you feel like your partner’s wants and needs always seem to be more important than yours, maybe you’ve been taught that sacrificing your needs is a form of love…and you still choose to believe it.

When I first learned that my relationship with others is a reflection of the relationship with myself, I felt overwhelmed. I found myself judging the thoughts I was having and feeling helpless about my ability to change them.

As with most humans, I was allowing my mind to dominate my feelings and my thoughts always took the lead.

But when I got past the initial overwhelm, I was able to examine my thoughts from a place of empowerment.

This allowed me to figure out which ones were no longer true, and I began to understand how and why my feelings are such a reliable source of guidance and direction.

Some thoughts and beliefs are meant to stick for a lifetime and will serve you well, such as people deserve to be treated with honesty and respect.

Other thoughts and beliefs, such as self-sacrifice is a form of love, need to be challenged, uprooted and replaced with beliefs that better serve your life and the lives of those around you.

In you want things to be different, and you want to make improvements in your relationship, it’s your responsibility to make that happen.

Yes, your partner will be responsible for his /her part as well, but you need to start with YOU! The only person you can change is YOU!

The good news is…when you change, it’s common for the people around you to change as well.

All of this information is meant to guide and support you as you get in touch with your feelings. The more knowledge you have, the better chance you have for success.

That being said, knowledge is just that…a source of information. Until you choose to apply that knowledge and benefit from the experience, you won’t gain the wisdom needed to move toward your goals and desires.

So I invite you to re-read this information to digest it fully and use it to your advantage. And I encourage you to re-visit last week’s exercise and practice it as often as you possibly can.

The more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll get with it. The more comfortable you become, the safer you will feel.

When you feel safe, your heart and feelings are much more likely to reveal to you what you need to know.

In closing, here are a few tips to help you mindfully master your thoughts and emotions:

  • Be gentle with yourself and do your best to remove all judgments from the process. None of your thoughts or feelings is ‘wrong’; they may just require adjustment.
  • Remind yourself often that your thoughts can be remolded with consistent attention, and your new thoughts will give rise to new emotions. This helps you feel empowered, instead of helpless.
  • Be patient with the process, and allow it to unfold in its own time. Yes, you need to persist with the practice, but you also need to trust the process. You’re exactly where you need to be!

In other words, have compassion for yourself. This inner work is not easy and it’s important to nurture yourself through this process.

Honor your thoughts. Honor your feelings. Figure out which ones still work for you and which ones don’t.

The reward of getting in touch with and aligning your thoughts and feelings is well worth the work. And if you need a little extra support, I am here to help you! Please feel free to reach out to me.

Stay tuned for more mindful messages. Giving you tips, exercises and helpful information to improve the quality of your romantic relationship!


Catherine Dietz
Healthy Relationship Coach

P.S. Please know that you’re not alone in this process! If you need support, contact me for a relationship strategy session at no cost to you.